15 Jun 2016

Further arrests possible after massive meth bust

7:27 pm on 15 June 2016

Police aren't ruling out further arrests in relation to the country's biggest ever haul of methamphetamine, found in Kaitaia.

Northland Police have made a record seizure of methamphetamine - with an estimated street value of $438 million on the street

Baggies of meth are laid out. Photo: SUPPLIED/New Zealand Police

Four people have so far been arrested in connection with the massive drug bust, which saw police intercept close to 500kg of meth - most of it on a washed-up boat on 90 Mile Beach - on Sunday.

More than 20 detectives are investigating the record haul of methamphetamine.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush told Morning Report he was not raising any victory flags, but they were determined to dismantle the networks and gangs who were bringing meth into the country and ruining people's lives.

"The locals, they've done an awesome job."

Police Commissioner Mike Bush

Police Commissioner Mike Bush (file photo) Photo: RNZ/Lauren Baker

"It tells us that unfortunately there is a big demand in NZ even though our data tells us that the number of users in new Zealand is decreasing, which is great [but the amount seized], it does still tell us that it is a really major problem in our community.

"Methamphetamine has been a problem in our communities for 20 years, and it's still a really significant issue for people in our communities."

The boat was found abandoned on Ninety Mile Beach.

The boat was found abandoned on Ninety Mile Beach. Photo: Supplied: Police

"I'm not belittling the problem at all, I'm saying it's still there, and together we've really got to focus our efforts on preventing that harm getting into our communities.

He said the drug was easy to obtain, which was why seizing meth and working to prevent it coming into the country was the police focus.

"Again, we're looking at everything we can to diminish the issue in New Zealand but it's also a very global issue, we're not alone on this which in fact is why I'm travelling overseas to speak to my colleagues about this very problem.

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